It is my pleasure to run a four part series contributed by Robb Cohen, CEO of BeHomeWise. With over 30 years in the homebuilding industry, his expertise is greatly appreciated.
Leads May Be Key to Higher Builder Profitability
By Robb Cohen – CEO, BeHomeWise Inc.
Today’s new home shopper leads come from a variety of channels, including model homes sites, new homes tours, and online searches. Industry research tells us, however, that the most qualified buyers – those most likely to buy a new home – are coming more and more through the builder’s Website or other online channels. Interestingly enough, most home builders have not prepared their businesses to deal with online leads, despite the reliability of this channel and its track record for quality leads. Instead, most builders have been overwhelmed by the number of home shopper leads that arrive daily through their Website, while often struggling to adequately manage these prospects. The National Association of Realtors conducted a survey which verified that 70% of online inquiries went unanswered by builders.
Many builders actually still manually sort through their online customer inquiries, distributing those inquiries to an office employee or sales agent to contact the shopper directly. Due to a lack of time, employees, and resources, these valuable leads and significant lead data simply fall through the cracks in many cases. This is bad news to builders as online shoppers then take their business elsewhere. An analysis of online consumer behavior reported that if a company does not respond to an online lead in 12 hours, that company has an 80% chance of losing the sale.
So how does this impact a home builder’s bottom line? Builders that don’t use an effective lead management system to automatically respond to, or follow up with, their online AND “off-line” leads (e.g. foot traffic and phone leads) may be losing their “hottest” prospects to competitors who employ a system for responding quickly to shopper inquiries. While builders are certainly not desperate for customer leads at the moment, giving up those leads with the shortest sales cycle to a competitor is simply bad business. Given the uncertainty of tomorrow’s market, builders have to focus on achieving high profitability today, not just high sales. One of the key drivers to builder profitability is a lower cost of sales, achieved by a faster sales cycle.
More and more builders today are integrating lead management systems into their day to day operations in order to achieve greater efficiency and profitability. These systems help builders to shorten their sales cycle by:
- Identifying the prospective shoppers who are most likely to buy
- Prioritizing these leads for the sales team
- Providing shoppers with the information they need in the fastest possible timeframe
- Collecting and analyzing shopper data to inform sales and marketing decisions
Up Next in Part 2 – Identifying the Hottest Prospects is Key
BeHomeWise is an Internet lead management system for home builders. Founded and developed by new home sales expert, Robb Cohen. Learn more about BeHomeWise by visiting www.BeHomeWise.com, or by calling (866) 246-6399